Apr 02, 2015 4:16 AM GMT
huffingtonpostIndiana's Memories Pizza Reportedly Becomes First Business To Reject Catering Gay Weddings [UPDATE]
A family-owned pizza parlor is causing a media stir after reportedly becoming the first business to publicly vow to reject gay weddings in the wake of Indiana's controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
The owners of Memories Pizza in Walkerton said theirs is a "Christian establishment" and that they agree with Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who has come under fire after signing the bill, which allows business owners to cite religious beliefs as a defense when sued by a private party, ABC 57 reported.
“That lifestyle is something they choose. I choose to be heterosexual," Kevin O'Connor told the news station. "They choose to be homosexual. Why should I be beat over the head to go along with something they choose?”
O'Connor's daughter Crystal said she didn't think that the bill was "targeting gays," adding, "It's supposed to help people that have a religious belief."
In a separate interview with The Daily Beast, O'Connor clarified that although he doesn't "have a problem with gay people," he does not condone same-sex marriage. Although he wouldn't cater to a same-sex wedding, he wouldn't turn anyone away from the shop itself.
“I mean, we don’t believe in murder. I also don’t believe in abortion,” he added.
Indiana's law has been slammed by political figures and celebrities alike. Stephen King, George Takei and Miley Cyrus are just a few of the bold-faced names to have condemned the legislation thus far.
Meanwhile, Pence has since called for an amendment to clarify that the legislation does not allow businesses to deny service to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people.
UPDATE: Memories Pizza is reportedly "temporarily closed" after the restaurant "was immediately flooded by threatening phone calls, and social media postings." "I don't know if we will re-open," Crystal O'Connor told The Blaze. "We're in hiding, basically."
A GoFundMe page was setup to support Memories Pizza with donations, and just hours after its creation had reached its goal of $25,000 in pledges.